Natalie Jablonski

Community Features Editor

Natalie came to the station in 2013.  She moved to the Northwoods from Providence, Rhode Island where she worked at Rhode Island Public Radio.  She studied Environmental Studies at Brown University, and learned radio production at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. 

As Community Features Editor, Natalie spends time reporting, interviewing, and working with volunteer contributors.  She also hosts All Things Considered on Friday afternoons. 

When she's not rushing to and from an interview, she enjoys cooking, eating, playing music, and skiing to survive the winter.

Ways To Connect

U.S Geological Survey via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Great_Lakes_1913_Storm_Shipwrecks.png

Science on Tap this week is looking at water quality in the Great Lakes.

Director of UW Madison’s Aquatic Sciences Center Jim Hurley says the nature of Great Lakes pollution has changed over the years, now coming from more diffuse sources instead of point ones. 

“We might have mercury, that used to be discharged directly from industrial sources, where dilution was the solution.  And now we’ve pretty much eliminated most of those, but we find that mercury enters the lake based on rainfall, and from the atmosphere.”

A proposal to disband a board that oversees for-profit higher education is getting some pushback from those in the field. 

The Educational Approval Board, or EAB, oversees about 250 Wisconsin institutions.  Governor Walker wants to shift its duties into other agencies like the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. 

But some educators think that’s a bad idea. 

Steven Thomas / US Fish and Wildlife Service

A decision over whether to list the northern long-eared bat as endangered is no more than a week away. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed the listing because bat populations face devastation from the deadly white-nose syndrome. 

But some farmers and loggers have argued the bat is still too numerous to warrant an endangered listing. 

Great Lakes Timber Professionals Director Henry Schienebeck says it would bring too many restrictions.

Joe Ross

Many Northwoods communities are reporting an uptick in visitors this winter. 

Boulder Junction room tax receipts were up eight percent for last year’s fourth quarter, which ended in December.  Rhinelander room tax receipts were up four percent over that time, and Minocqua's went up two percent.  

Rhinelander Chamber Director Dana DeMet says more people seemed to be traveling to the Northwoods this year for the snow quality. 

A Rhinelander art gallery is hanging a new show focusing on rural art educators in Wisconsin. 

The images in ArtStart’s spring show, Rural Roots: Art Pioneers in Wisconsin, show pastoral scenes and natural landscapes. 

As Programming Director Laura Ehmann describes, featured artist Ruth Stolle was a beloved teacher who left her mark on students in the area. 

invest-smart.org

Northern home sales shot up in February, compared to that month last year, by almost 17 percent. 

That’s better than the statewide average, which showed a less than two percent rise…according to numbers from the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

Economist Dave Clark says a milder winter may have helped the market.  

“We’re really comparing to a February last year that was pretty weak.  We had that long cold winter, and you know spring came a lot later than it typically does.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Home_improvement/Tools#/media/File:Garden_hose.jpg

Rhinelander is gearing up for home improvement season with the Hodag Home show this weekend.

Rhinelander Chamber Director Dana DeMet says it’s a chance to consult with experts and see a variety of product options. 

“Anybody who owns a home here in the Northwoods knows that there’s a very short season in which we can get a lot of our projects done.  So we like to schedule this near the end of the winter season, so that people can get on their calendar for a lot of these projects that are coming up.”

Buck Vaughn / The Conservation Fund

A majority of Wisconsin voters support the Knowles Nelson Stewardship fund. That’s according to a new poll from the Nature Conservancy. 

Governor Scott Walker’s budget plan calls for freezing land acquisitions funded by the stewardship program until 2028. 

Democratic lawmakers are coming to Rhinelander this weekend to hear what people in northern Wisconsin think about the governor’s proposed budget.

State Senator John Erpenbach of Middleton sits on the Joint Finance Committee.  He says Saturday’s listening session is an opportunity to hear from citizens of both parties.                 

“So there’s all sorts of aspects to the budget that affect everybody in the state from one aspect or another.  So we’re real curious to hear what people have to say about it, and any ideas that people have.”

Frank Kovac

Northern lights displays wowed people across Wisconsin and other northern states last night.

Planetarium owner Frank Kovak in Monico says they were the best he’s seen in almost 15 years. 

“It was actually to the point where they were really dancing in the sky – greenish, and then a little bit of red.  Real beautiful.” 

Kovac says solar storms like the one that caused last night’s show usually linger for a few days, but clouds are forecast tonight.

Still he’s hopeful for a break in the cloud cover. 

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